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Help: New projector or replace bulb...questions about both.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hey guys,

I need some help figuring out what I should do. I was playing Xbox 360 last night on my Panasonic AE700U and right before I finished the game I heard a lovely 'pop' sound. I haven't opened her up yet, but obviously the lamp went bye-bye (hopefully not too much of a mess). I have been thinking about upgrading projectors, but wasn't quite ready to do so as I thought I'd get some more life out of this one...although I've had it over 5 years now and bought it second hand with low hours so I can't complain. This was the original bulb.

Anyway, my first question is about replacement bulbs. Where is the best place to buy one? I see the OEM bulbs seem to sell for around $250, and then there are the other bulbs for about half that. I love the idea of getting a new bulb for around $125, but are any of these ok, or are they all china crap? For this old projector I don't really care if I don't get another 5 years out of the bulb, but I aslo don't want it to die in 3 months, nor do I want to degrade the picture quality. If there are some OEM-like bulbs that people have had good experience with that I can get for $100 or so I'll do that for sure. If I get a new projector I can still make use of the old one in my garage for my golf sim.

Ok, now on to the upgrade. I've been reading reviews once and a while the past year just trying to stay somewhat current on things, but I'm far from an expert. My home theatre is primarily used for casual gaming (Xbox 360) and watching movies. It is not a dedicated theatre room, but it is in our finished basement so we can control the light very well. I believe we sit about 16-18 ft from the 100" screen and the current projector is located directly above our head (about 18' from the screen). The panasonic was our first projector and I liked the flexibilty the LCD offered in terms of placement.

Before coming here today I had heard lots of positive reviews on the Epson 8350 and figured that is what I'd get if I had to buy something now. However, while that still appears to be a good unit, after doing some readin here today I see a lot of people going with the 6500UB refurb from VA. Is that the way to go?
To throw one more option in the pile, what about buying a used JVC D-ILA projector like the HD350. I don't know anything about these, but it sounds like they are a step up in terms of quality from the typical DLP/LCD projectors we buy for under $3000.

$1000-1200 new 8350 vs $1000 refurb 6500UB vs $1500-$2000 used JVC. Opinions???
From the bit of reading I've done I'd saying I'm leaning towards the 6500UB, mainly because it sounds like a better projector then the 8350, would be a good upgrade from my current panny, and is at a good price point.

I'll stop typing for now, but please let me know if you need more information from me. I appreciate you taking the time to read and respond to my post!
post #2 of 7
I have had an Epson 8100 for 2 years now. It's been great. I understand that the 8350 is only a slight upgrade to the 8100. I opted for the 6500UB. I can tell you that there is a significant difference in the blacks. The 6500UB's picture looks much better. It's easily worth the $150 difference between the refurb 8100 and the refurb 6500UB cost.

Now I don't regret buying the 8100 2 years ago. I could afford it then but the 6500UB was way out of my price range at the time.

If it was me and I could swing it I'd definitely opt for the $949 6500UB over a $250 bulb for a 5 year old projector. Remember that it's not just the bulb that's 5 years old. Those panels are old and due to have problems.

Plus you just can't beat Epson's warranty service. They're giving us a full 2 years on a refurb, unbelievable!
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I'll think I'll give the 6500UB a try...just about to hit ORDER!

I'd still appreciate comments on buying replacement bulbs, as if I can get one cheap enough I'll eventually get one for the panny and put it in the garage. Something like this possibly: http://www.pureglare.com/product/view.aspx?pid=3187

Also any more comments on the 6500UB would be good as well, although based on the other posts I've read I sorta know what I'm getting into. Hopefully I don't have any issues like some people have had, but if I do it is good to know that Epson supports their products, even refurbs.
post #4 of 7
Not to hijack the thread, but I just had the bulb go on my Sharp DT-500. So sad...

I am struggling with replacing the bulb vs. upgrading to a newer 720p model. I know the DT-500 has been great for me. Does anybody have thoughts on making a "lateral move" vs buying a new bulb?

I love the PJ but I don't want to put too much money into a model that is now 5 years old and has many hours on the parts (colorwheel). Thoughts???
post #5 of 7
Scott, I looked at the specs for your PJ and I can tell you that when you get the 6500ub you'll be blown away at the difference in the picture between it and the PJ you have. Wait on getting a bulb until you get the 6500ub. It's entirely possible that you'll have no interest in getting your old PJ working again. I think you'll find that much of a difference.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg_63 View Post

Scott, I looked at the specs for your PJ and I can tell you that when you get the 6500ub you'll be blown away at the difference in the picture between it and the PJ you have. Wait on getting a bulb until you get the 6500ub. It's entirely possible that you'll have no interest in getting your old PJ working again. I think you'll find that much of a difference.

Hey Greg,

I have no doubt the PQ of the 6500UB will be much better then my old panny. As I mentioned, I would get the bulb for the panny so that I can stick it out in the garage to display my golf sim software. I'd rather buy a cheap bulb if I can then take the new Epson back and forth between the HT room and the garage.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Pulled the trigger on the 6500UB last night. Hopefully everything works out. Thanks for the help.
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